Taking Local Play for a Ride
Hey, guys! I’m new to Shoryuken, but I’ve been playing UMvC3 here and there over the last eight months. I’m not very good, but I have fun playing and improving and I hope to reach a level of competence in the future.
On the side, I’ve written a little Java application, though it’s still a work in progress, that adds something to the game that I felt was missing since the beginning. As a multiplayer game going online, it can be fairly fun, but I like the idea of EXP, gold, items, the like… basically turning UMvC3 into a more CoD online-style game, without comprising anything about the game itself; these elements come about as a result of your skill in the game and should not affect it in any way, for that would be much too detracting. Rather, they embellish the experience. This game is written for local play in mind and would at this point not be practical for online play, unless this online play were well-structured and communicative.
The game I’ve created is called Marvel Rotation. You run it on your computer and can play with any number of real human players or CPUs and is used as a tool alongside Marvel for the Xbox or PS3 (or Vita). I’ve tried to make the interface very easy to use, but I’ll explain the rules and the gist of everything here. Also note that you will need Java to run the game, which you can download from www.java.com.
The game starts with the user entering how many players will be participating. The games take place in a rotation-style format; Player A goes against Player B… whoever wins goes on to face Player C and so forth, depending on the amount. It can be even just two players.
Players will be assigned three random characters at the start of the game, though the assists are not specified. The involved players will pick these characters and play them in their specific order, choosing their own assists. Players who do not have a saved profile (which is automatically created at the start of the match if one does not exist and auto-saved after every round) will start at Level 1, with 0 EXP and gold, and work their way up based on their winnings. If you win, you gain EXP and can eventually progress in rank, though one of your characters will randomly be taken out to be replaced with another random character; if you lose, you lose a small amount of EXP but still acquire a small amount of gold for your troubles, and all three of your characters must remain. This process goes on ad infinitum.
Now, with the way this is structured, there is a fairly plain yet effective local ranking system you can use with your friends, if you like to play locally. However, what I’ve done with the game is add another layer of fun, a layer that actually puts this gold to use: items.
I used the word “card” to describe the items in Marvel Rotation, but they are essentially items, either randomly acquirable or purchasable. These items can range in price from as little as 10 gold to 375 gold (for the infamous Team Trenchcoat card). Players will have an option to purchase one item at the start of every round or sell any of the items they currently have for a usually fair sum of gold; players can sell as many items as they want but can only buy 1 item per turn. They then have the option to use one of these items.
The majority of these items are team cards that have three specific characters attached to them and have been fairly arbitrarily decided by me but have to make at least some sort of sense; for example, Team Trenchcoat is the infamous Dante, Vergil, Wesker, Team Evil is Dormammu, Doctor Doom, and Magneto, and Team Avengers is Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor. However, there are also tier-based cards (which may need an update soon, considering the tier list has recently changed), cards that steal a card from your opponent, cards that allow you a random reroll, cards that make your opponent reroll, etc. So far, there are about 90 implemented items, from which only about 5 haven’t been completely coded yet but will be soon.
I’ve chosen to be fairly generous to the underdogs… every time a player loses, he gains a random card, which can then be sold or used the next time around to try and make a comeback. I believe adding in features like this is one of the things that makes the game for me.
WHY THIS STYLE OF GAME?
I’ve designed Marvel Rotation’s core around a central philosophy and a personal goal: to improve general play. I decided it would be nice to get to know all of the characters and grow proficient with them so that when the time came to finally design my own team, I would have more knowledge about my choices. Also, it would help fighting against other characters and not the same rotated teams I faced day in and day out with my friends. Having it so that one must actually win with a team to get a character to swap out means you need to learn how to use your team, and once you’ve learned… well, it’s time to throw a wrench in the machine and make you learn something new. And if you know everyone in and out and win every time… well, you get to rank up! Having items in there was to ensure people could have fun and grow addicted at the same time, not having to feel bound to their characters and practically tied down by the program.
That wraps up the game in a nutshell, and from using it, I can say it really adds a lot to local play and brings in a very addicting metagame aspect to freshen things up; you may suffer through three rounds of playing a team you’re terrible with only to save up for an awesome card and then punish your opponent with a team you rock at. I hope you guys get a chance to try it out and tell me what you think; I’m also very open to suggestions and would like to add more functionality until it becomes something we can all enjoy as players of Marvel, hopefully strengthening the fun in just having casual matches with our friends, or even taken to competitive play to make for a fun new ruleset (I can only dream!).
To all who have read this and to those who give the game a try, thank you very much! :] Download link will be posted below.
Game is currently in what I deem to be Version 0.1.1 because it is finished as a program but surely lacking much of the functionality both I can come up with and what you guys can come up with to make it exponentially better! Note that a few of the items, including the Exemption Card and Vengeance Card, are not working. Also, a couple of minor bugs exist, primarily with the Poison Card, but they’re not game-breaking and I’ll work them out in Version 0.2. Happy Marveling!
DOWNLOAD LINK (V 0.1.1)
[LEFT]-Much better graphical presentation. At one point, there weren’t even pictures of the characters! The style of the app now is quite plain and could be improved upon quite a bit (I’m thinking of stylizing it like the BradyGames player’s guide and adding fullscreen and resizable options). I also plan on integrating all input and whatnot into one window and making it actually look like a real game of its own.[/LEFT]
[LEFT]-Card pictures and a storefront interface, just for immersion.[/LEFT]
[LEFT]-Sound effects when the next rotated character is announced (maybe) and when purchases are made (cha-ching!). Also, music would be nice… “I’m gonna take you for a ride!”[/LEFT]
[LEFT]-A prestiging system, a la Call of Duty… people who play a lot of local will probably rise in rank past the current 100 or so ranks that I’ve come up with and need some sort of prestige system to keep up the awesome antics.[/LEFT]